Engine Block - What to look for from craigslist/etc? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Engine Block - What to look for from craigslist/etc?

Hey all,

I'm thinking of buying a 289 block to build/rebuild and eventually put in my '66 coupe. I would be definitely taking it to a machine shop for all of the work, because they're the experts and I'm not (LOL).

My current train of thought is that I'd like to build a 331 or 347 stroker. I don't want to go the 351 block route b/c I don't want to deal with shock tower deletes and all that great jazz. (maybe later on in a few years though? who knows)

I've found a 66 289 block (C5AE, date code 6F15) near me (well, about 3 hours from me; but very close for my dad) for about 200 bucks and seller says its standard bore. Since its gonna go to the machine shop anyway, what are the red flags that would make you go "NO WAY, DON'T DO THIS!"

Thanks y'all!!
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1966 Mustang 2-Door Coupe
Engine: 1980 302 bored 0.060, so 311 ci. 351 heads, Holley 670 cfm 4 barrel, Eldebrock Torker II 289 intake, Competition Cam 276 duration 490 lift.
Trans: 1966 C4, recently rebuilt
Rear End: 8.8" rear end, 3.73 ratio w/ tractionlok, sourced from 91-94 explorer
Brakes: disc in front, drum in rear. Manual all around, single reservoir
Non-numbers matching

My plan is just to build a decently powerful muscle car that looks good but is a driver not a show car.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, and I found a complete 66 286 motor near me as well for about 400. Code is C5AE-6015E, Date code 6B11.

1966 Mustang 2-Door Coupe
Engine: 1980 302 bored 0.060, so 311 ci. 351 heads, Holley 670 cfm 4 barrel, Eldebrock Torker II 289 intake, Competition Cam 276 duration 490 lift.
Trans: 1966 C4, recently rebuilt
Rear End: 8.8" rear end, 3.73 ratio w/ tractionlok, sourced from 91-94 explorer
Brakes: disc in front, drum in rear. Manual all around, single reservoir
Non-numbers matching

My plan is just to build a decently powerful muscle car that looks good but is a driver not a show car.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 04:42 PM
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Why not buy a 5.0 roller block/engine?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 05:12 PM
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A 351 will bolt in without cutting the car with the right finesse but it's tight. And you can build a 427 outta that... But you can build a roller 302 up to 347 and make it look like a bone stock 289. There are so many options. But 400 for a complete 289 ain't bad. I'd rather somebody build that who really wants a 289, as they're less plentiful, but 302 blocks are everywhere.

My 1st car...
'66 Tahoe Turquoise/ Aqua coupe
•289 / 4100 •C4 Auto •Disc Brakes
•Dual Exhaust •Quick Manual Steering
•Rally Pac •Console •Deluxe Belts
•LOTS of Rotunda accessories

Older son's 1st car...
'66 Emberglo / Parchment deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Dealer A/C • Console
•Dual Exhaust • Power Steering

Younger son's 1st car...
'66 Nightmist / Blue & white deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Factory A/C •Console
WAITING FOR RESTORATION

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 05:46 PM
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Why not buy a 5.0 roller block/engine?

Last week I bought a 5.0 roller block out of a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer with 181,000 on it. You can still see the crosshatching from the factory hone. Something about low tension piston rings. I paid $135 out the door at P-N-P. It would have been $100 if I had a core to turn in.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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well I was thinking a 289 block based build b/c of the room in the engine bay and stroking to 347. That should be able to squeeze out some good hp there.

How much modification would be required to drop a 351 block in the '66 engine bay and would the tight spaces be prohibitive of doing things like sparkplug changes and such?

1966 Mustang 2-Door Coupe
Engine: 1980 302 bored 0.060, so 311 ci. 351 heads, Holley 670 cfm 4 barrel, Eldebrock Torker II 289 intake, Competition Cam 276 duration 490 lift.
Trans: 1966 C4, recently rebuilt
Rear End: 8.8" rear end, 3.73 ratio w/ tractionlok, sourced from 91-94 explorer
Brakes: disc in front, drum in rear. Manual all around, single reservoir
Non-numbers matching

My plan is just to build a decently powerful muscle car that looks good but is a driver not a show car.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 07:33 PM
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A 5.0 Roller block is the same size as a 289 block.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmefly View Post
Why not buy a 5.0 roller block/engine?

Last week I bought a 5.0 roller block out of a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer with 181,000 on it. You can still see the crosshatching from the factory hone. Something about low tension piston rings. I paid $135 out the door at P-N-P. It would have been $100 if I had a core to turn in.
I am thinking about doing the same thing. The pick in pull here in San Antonio has short blocks for $89 plus the core. Did you pull the engine yourself?
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 10:49 PM
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I pulled a 351W/5.8 at a pick and pull yard in Charlotte for just over $100. Some kind of sale day but it was cheap enough anyway. When I was there were a couple of Explorer 5.0's there and a couple of non-roller cam 5.0's too that I could have gotten for the same price.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 12:35 AM
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A couple comments...

First, about the blocks. From the first 6-bolt blocks installed in '64 to the last V8 Explorer 5.0, the blocks are pretty much interchangeable and share the same external dimensions between 289's, 302's and 5.0's. The biggest differences between them are dipstick location (some have a dipstick hole in the block, some do not), the presence (or not) of the clutch equalizer bar pivot boss (there are adapters for the 5.0's that are missing them), the type of rear main crankshaft seal used (2-piece or 1-piece) and, in turn, the crankshaft rear oil slinger, and the raised lifter bores for the capacity to install roller lifters in blocks from '85 and up.

If you want to build a 289, you can do so with a late 5.0 block by using a 289 crankshaft and machining off the oil slinger (so it matches the 1-piece rear seal block) and using the 289 connecting rods and pistons. If you want to build a 302, 331 or 347 you can do that in any of the blocks by using the correct crankshaft for the application.

Finding 289 and 302 blocks out there that are TRULY standard bore are getting harder and harder to find. Finding a 5.0 block is much easier. Cylinder wear is markedly less due to low tension rings and reduced engine speeds due to overdrive transmissions. There are also TONS of 5.0 blocks out there and if you're going to replace the heads ANYWAY, you can still find babied < '90-91 Crown Vics, Grand Marquis and Town Cars with decent mileage that show virtually no cylinder wear.

If you're buying a block from ANYBODY who claims it's a "standard bore" then I'd want to see the bore and taper measurements, on a piece of paper, with an understanding if the block needs anything more than a .020" overbore the seller pays for the block inspection and you get your money back.... either that or buy/rent/borrow a bore micrometer and check it out when you go to look at it.

On the question of 351W/5.8 blocks... If you're looking for lots more than the 8.2" deck small block can provide both now and down the road, then a 351W/5.8 makes a lot of sense. Stock, it has the longer stroke which gives much better torque capability and with potential displacements up to 427 cubic inches (and larger) it definitely has "expandability". The stock 351W is about 65# heavier than a stock 289 so when you pop on a pair of aluminum heads, an aluminum intake, some headers and an aluminum water pump you're coming in lighter than a stock 289. The "deficiencies" as they may be called, are the lack of room for changing plugs in a '65-66... which can be made better with adjustable engine mounts. With the 351W you're pretty much S.O.L. if you want to run a Borgeson steering box and you will probably have to do some clutch equalizer bar "fabrication" to get it to clear the headers properly, or go to a hydraulic setup.

Other than that....... it would be neat to see a 2.3 Turbo in a '65-66.....
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 01:11 AM
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Ya know just as a general comment FWIW. I stabbed a 97 GT40P in my 66. I paid $450, sold off what I didn't want for $175. Bought a $60 5.0 cam, Stealth intake $80, 600 Edelbrock $125. All cheap used parts. I have so little money into this it's not funny. It runs incredibly well. So we'll I can't see spending any more money. With my suspension set up in a road race theme, it's a blast to drive.


@2nd 66 behind me
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Last edited by Huskinhano; 09-22-2019 at 01:14 AM.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 03:10 AM
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If you want simplicity, power, and reliability, it's mighty hard to beat a 5.0 roller cam engine. It's the same thing you have now, with a slightly longer crank throw (302) and roller cam. All your 289 parts are pretty much interchangeable, and it's pretty hard to tell the difference between them from the outside, once you put a carburetor and carb-type intake on one.


The 289/302/5.0 are all very closely related. Call 'em brothers and sisters. The 351 is taller and wider, not to mention 80 lbs heavier. It's mighty hard to squeeze into an early Mustang like yours, and it'd be flat out difficult to change the plugs on, even if you did. It can be done, but unless you just want to make it a drag car, I think you'd be far better off expense-wise and handling-wise to go with a hot little 5.0.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 03:21 AM
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Quote:
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Last week I bought a 5.0 roller block out of a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer with 181,000 on it. You can still see the crosshatching from the factory hone. Something about low tension piston rings. I paid $135 out the door at P-N-P. It would have been $100 if I had a core to turn in.
I hate you. I need to score a deal like that here in AZ.



I've started a blog about my car and adventures: http://65mustangfun.blogspot.com/

1965 Fastback, 289, Toploader 4 Speed, owned by me since June 1980. Originally a C-code with a C-4. 5R09C16****
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Grimbrand View Post
If you want simplicity, power, and reliability, it's mighty hard to beat a 5.0 roller cam engine. It's the same thing you have now, with a slightly longer crank throw (302) and roller cam. All your 289 parts are pretty much interchangeable, and it's pretty hard to tell the difference between them from the outside, once you put a carburetor and carb-type intake on one.


The 289/302/5.0 are all very closely related. Call 'em brothers and sisters. The 351 is taller and wider, not to mention 80 lbs heavier. It's mighty hard to squeeze into an early Mustang like yours, and it'd be flat out difficult to change the plugs on, even if you did. It can be done, but unless you just want to make it a drag car, I think you'd be far better off expense-wise and handling-wise to go with a hot little 5.0.
that said I still can't out autox @dobrostang with his 351 powered 66, The GT40P that @Huskinhano scored for me after I popped my 289 has help get me closer though
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 09:00 AM
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Did you pull the engine yourself?

Yes, they don't help you. They have large A-frames on tires that you pull over to your car and then they loan you a chain hoist. I asked if they had a short chain to bolt to the engine and he said, "No, most guys use a seat belt". So I found the closest A-frame, rolled it over and found a seat belt. I had already pulled the intake and exhaust manifolds, the heads and all accessories so it came out fairly easy.


These are their prices, out the door with no core exchange:


Complete engine with all accessories- $335
Complete engine without accessories- $257
Short block- $180
Bare block- $136


They had another Mountaineer 5.0 with 208,000 on the odometer.
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